I thought that users of the KMV will benefit from the following.
I had travelled to Jackson, Mississippi and was photographing at an interesting Confederate burial ground and a near-by abandoned tenant farmer’s home when I noted that the top slider which holds the lens board in place was hanging down. As many of you know, the original screws holding the top slider were rather flimsy. Moreover, such original screws can, of course, no longer be located. I had fashioned a make shift solution when I purchased the camera. However, if one uses the new KMV lens boards from Michael Smith one will find that the new boards are considerably “stronger” and “thicker” than the original Kodak boards. Such boards (although an improvement), put added stress on the mounting screws holding the top slider. Indeed, one might find it a bit difficult at first to work the new lens boards under the bottom lip and slide the top slider over the top of the board. Needless to say, it was impossible to find the small screw amongst the weeds. Moreover, even if the screw was found, I did not have a small hex wrench to reattach the screw onto the camera. Also, I had no tape to hold the board in place at the top right side.
Obviously I did the best that I could; one does not travel 700 miles and pack up without trying to photograph. Hopefully the new lens board will have been thick enough so that light will not have found a path behind the board. We shall see.
The solution? After appropriate cursing and head shaking, my friend and I went to the local Ace Hardware store. I had done the same thing here in Florida when trying to solve the “problem” , and of course found that the store had no appropriate screws. Needless to say, the store in Jackson-although having thousands of screws of both metric and machine measurements- did not have any screw that worked. We went to a “fastener store” and of course they did not have anything to replace the “original screws”. My friend who is a retired Professional Engineer and is very familiar with all manner of nuts, bolts, screws, etc. and the very helpful young man at the counter thought that “retapping” the original hole and using a modern machine screw would be the best solution. The bellows on my camera is mounted such that top of the bellows is BELOW the hole where the screws holding the slider is located. Hence, there was no danger of ruining the top of the bellows if the replacement screw was too long. So, the two of them carefully “retapped” the original hole ( start with a tapered tap and then use the straight tap ) using a small “tap wrench”. They then screwed in a standard 4-40 ¼ inch machine screw and adjusted the tightness so that the slider was easily moved yet very secure. The length of the new screw is perfect; there is no protrusion of the screw behind the board, and no risk of damaging the bellows or the camera. Of course, we could have clipped the back end of the screw had such been needed.
Done! The new screw is a standard size, easily found at any hardware store and thus simple to replace. The new screw is much “stronger” and the top end of the thicker lens board is held more securely in place. The downside is, of course, that the camera is no longer “completely authentic”. However, I think you might agree that the advantages of not having to worry about having a situation similar to mine is worth having two “non authentic” screws.
Last edited by Mahler_one; 11-18-2012 at 10:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.